Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
On a Subway Express
By Chester Firkins
I, WHO have lost the stars, the sod,
  For chilling pave and cheerless light,
Have made my meeting-place with God
  A new and nether Night—
Have found a fane where thunder fills        5
  Loud caverns, tremulous;—and these
Atone me for my reverend hills
  And moonlit silences.
A figment in the crowded dark,
  Where men sit muted by the roar,        10
I ride upon the whirring Spark
  Beneath the city’s floor.
In this dim firmament, the stars
  Whirl by in blazing files and tiers;
Kin meteors graze our flying bars,        15
  Amid the spinning spheres.
Speed! speed! until the quivering rails
  Flash silver where the head-light gleams,
As when on lake the Moon impales
  The waves upon its beams.        20
Life throbs about me, yet I stand
  Outgazing on majestic Power;
Death rides with me, on either hand,
  In my communion hour.
You that ’neath country skies can pray,        25
  Scoff not at me—the city clod;—
My only respite of the Day
  Is this wild ride—with God.

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